Elevation Gain: Leafly’s Guide to the 7 Best High Hikes in Nevada
Welcome to Elevation Gain, where we’ll pair cannabis with hiking, backpacking, camping, and all the greatest aspects of the great outdoors … all summer long. Check out all Elevation Gain articles here.
Thanks to the Silver State’s brand new adult-use legalization roll-out, anyone can drop by their favorite pot stop before navigating all the natural beauty Nevada has to offer. Beyond the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, you’ll find a vast expanse of desert trails and pockets of green oases ready to be explored with an elevated mind.
So lace up those hiking boots, pack a bowl, and stock up on water (a lot of water) before taking on the Great Basin or the arid Mojave Desert with the seven best high hikes in Nevada.
White Domes Trail – Valley of Fire State Park
If it’s your first time hiking in the desert, head to the short but sweet White Domes Trail Loop to jumpstart your experience. This stunning trail doesn’t see a lot of traffic, yet it showcases colorful sandstone popping in shades of yellow and red; breathtaking flowering cacti; and a small slot canyon where you can hide away from the sun and enjoy a light rest and a quick smoke.
Distance: 1.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 150 ft.
Hunter Creek Trail – Toiyabe National Forest
Hunter Creek Trail is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike, so you’ll want to head out early to beat the traffic. Sprinkled along this trail are a few creek crossings that will ultimately lead you to a rewarding 30-foot waterfall worth the hot trek. Ever taken a cool shower while high? Times that by 100 by kicking off your boots and jumping into the water.
Distance: 5.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 1286 ft.
Cathedral Rock – Toiyabe National Forest
The trail to Cathedral Rock is punctuated by the magnificent Echo Cliffs, thick aspens, and pockets of old yet captivating avalanche destruction. Once you get to the top you’ll be met with spectacular views of the Spring Mountains, so pack a lunch before you go and picnic at the summit while you spend time enjoying this hike’s natural beauty. Keep an eye out for Palmer’s chipmunks—this is the only place in the world where you can see them.
Distance: 2.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 1679 ft.
Product Pairing: Throw a delicious edible into your lunch bag for a tasty treat at the summit. Dixie’s mouthwatering Peppermint Dark Chocolate bar is the best choice for quelling a sweet tooth and elevating your time on Cathedral Rock.
Lehman Caves – Great Basin National Park
Stalagtites and stalagmites, oh my! And look at those shields! 😍 Our visit at Lehman Caves last week. A trip to Great Basin National Park wouldn't be complete without it. #lehmancaves #greatbasinnationalpark #greatbasin #nationalpark #cave #caves #cavern #stalagtites #stalagmites #nevada #homemeansnevada #explore #greatoutdoors #mothernature
Ever want to hot-box a cave? Well, it’s not really that easy—but get high before this hike and you can pretend you have. One of Great Basin National Park’s most popular trails lies deep beneath the earth at the gorgeous Lehman Caves. This 90-minute expedition is a treasure in its own right—you’ll see stalagmites, flowstones, and columns, amongst other ancient formations. You can only enter by guided tour, so nab your tickets in advance and spark up before heading into this magical underground sanctuary.
Distance: 0.4–0.6 miles
Elevation Gain: -300 ft.
Product Pairing: Just because you can’t light up in the cave doesn’t mean you have to go without. Keep it discreet by popping one of Cheeba Chews’ sweet Hybrid Chews as you admire the thousand-year-old caverns.
Alpine Lakes Loop – Great Basin National Park
The notably lush Alpine Lakes Loop is a far cry from Nevada’s typical desert landscape—this lovely hike takes you through clear streams and verdant greenery as you pass by the stunning Stella and Teresa Lakes. Additionally, you’ll get to witness sweeping views of the colossal 13,065-foot Wheeler Peak.
Distance: 3 miles
Elevation Gain: 450 ft.
Gold Strike Hot Spring Trail – Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Consider a winter trip to Nevada for this unique hike. Gold Strike Hot Spring Trail is surrounded by rugged terrain (and excellent bouldering for all you rock climbers out there). The hot springs at the end are a welcome way to relax once you’re done climbing and hiking. Keep your eyes peeled for the famously striped kingsnake while on the trail (but don’t worry, they’re rare and won’t bother you if you don’t bother them).
Distance: 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1250 ft.
Product Pairing: Cannabis provides a much-needed reward once you complete this fun yet strenuous hike. Relax sore muscles with a vape full of Northern Lights by Dream Steam for the ultimate post-hike relief.
Mount Rose Trail – Toiyabe National Forest
Waterfall at the halfway point to Mt. Rose this afternoon… #waterfall #water #mountrose #mountrosetrail #tahoerimtrail #Nevada #laketahoe #washoecounty #calmtnman #hiking #trails #outdoors #nature #peaks #mountains #in2nature #explore #adventures #wunderlust #trailrunning #sierranevadamountains #extinctvolcano #view #naturelover #chasingwaterfalls
Mount Rose is the longest trail on this list, clocking in at 10.5 miles. Though lengthy, its green hills, spectacular sunset views, and breathtaking glimpses of Lake Tahoe make it a can’t-miss attraction. Carve out a day for exploring nature with some cannabis in tow, and we promise the memories you make will be worth it.
Distance: 10.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,770 ft.